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Mistaken Identity
Theme of the Week: Rest from the Driven Life
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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Key Bible Verse: "Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28, CEB)

Dig Deeper: Matthew 11:28-30

The writer of Hebrews says that those who enter God's rest are the ones who "share the faith of those who obeyed" (4:2, NIV). In other words, the doorway into experiencing God's rest in our lives is faith. It takes trust in God's faithfulness to choose to stop our work. When we choose rest, we are putting our trust in God's work, not our own, and we then experience the gift of Sabbath.

The gift of a Sabbath day—a day measured not by productivity but by relationship and worship—helps us remember and trust that life is given, not earned. But we live in a culture that expects us to earn everything we have. In Spiritual Direction, Henri Nouwen [suggests] that we live in a culture where our identity is based on how well we do, how much we do, how much we possess, and what others say about us. The thinking goes like this: If I do more, l am more. If I have more, I am more. If more people like and recognize me more, I'm more valuable. This idea [subtly and insidiously undermines] the Sabbath. If I am what I do, who am I on a Sabbath day when I do nothing productive?

—Alan Fadling in An Unhurried Life

My Response: How do I define my identity?

Thought to Apply: Sabbath is turning over to God all those things—our money, our work, our status, our reputations, our plans, our projects—that we're otherwise tempted to hold tight in our own closed fists.—Mark Buchanan (pastor, writer)

Adapted from—An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling (IVP, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Father, please help me to live my life at a healthy pace. Teach me to follow the rhythms of rest that you've created me to enjoy.

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